Data protection and security are the biggest challenges for information technology (IT) professionals involved in managing storage networks for their organizations, according to the results of a new web poll released today by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA).

Nearly

one-third of poll respondents — 32.5 per cent — said that protecting and securing stored data is their biggest challenge. More than 660 individuals responded to the poll.

“Given the potential cost of a security breach or data loss and its negative impact on a company’s bottom line, the emphasis on security is not surprising,” said John Venator, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. “The security landscape is made even more complicated by the massive amount of data that needs to be stored; the increasing scale and complexity of storage systems; and the requirements for record retention to comply with government regulations. That is why it is absolutely essential for every organization to have in place a well designed, well managed and well secured IT infrastructure.”

Practices for keeping stored data secure should be documented in an organization’s comprehensive IT security policy, Venator advised. Issues that should be addressed include how to authenticate access to stored data; what types of information should be kept confidential; and requirements for data backup, restoration, monitoring, and auditing.

Among other challenges related to data storage, 16.9 per cent of respondents to the CompTIA web poll said management and administration of stored data is their biggest issue; 10.1 pe rcent cited gaining faster access to stored data; and 7.9 per cent said they are challenged by making data more accessible.

Organizations can be overwhelmed by the growing amount of new data created every day. In addition, much of this data is time sensitive and relevant to day-to-day business operations. Speed and flexibility have become essential to competing effectively. IT managers are continually looking for new ways to manage the onslaught of vital information; and the need to get that information in the hands of the right people at the right time.

Six per cent of respondents to the web poll said consolidating storage resources is their biggest challenge; while 5.6 per cent cited compliance with government regulations. In the United States, for example, laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act spell out requirements for the protecting the integrity, availability and confidentiality of relevant data.

The web poll was conducted between January 24 and March 11.

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